State Tourney Blog: Second Weekend Game Recaps

–by Louie Opatz, Brett Kruschke & Loren Muraca                                         

Editor’s note: for more details, including photos and videos, scroll the MBA Twitter feed. Below, click the linescore for each game to view its boxscore.

SECOND WEEKEND PHOTO GALLERY  |  “A FOGGY FINISH” MILROY IRISH – NY MILLS MILLERS PHOTO GALLERY

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26

Miesville Mud Hens 11, Chaska Cubs 2 @ Hutchinson (5 pm)

While Chaska trailed just 4-2 with two frames to play, Miesville pulling away late fell in line with what the peripheral numbers indicated. The Mud Hens out-hit the Cubs 17-5 while committing no errors to Chaska’s four. Just one of Chaska’s hits went for extra bases, while the Mud Hens slapped four doubles. 

Miesville’s Steve Maher was up to the task, allowing just four hits and four free passes over seven innings of work — including both runs. Chris Olean finished up with two scoreless frames.

Nate Hammes and Brian Sprout led the Miesville charge with three hits apiece, while Sprout also drove in three. Six of the Hens’ starters posted multiple hits. Tony Lane and JT Canakes both tallied two hits and drove in a run for the Cubs. 

Beaudreau’s Saints 12, Blaine Fusion 5 @ Dassel (5 pm)

A lot of people may not realize it, but the Blaine Fusion are a dynamite team that finished No. 3 in the final Class B rankings this season. Yet Beaudreau’s Saints — the sneaky runner-up in the 2014 state tournament — were in control the entire way behind a 17-hit assault.

Beaudreau’s started with three runs in the top of the first and never looked back, with Steven Neutzling leading the way with a 4-for-6, two-run, two-RBI performance. Nick Maiers belted a home run and drove in five runs. Both Brian Minks and Jason Kotschevar said “what about me?” with mere three-hit efforts. Just as Miesville did while gathering 17 hits, there were six Saints with multiple knocks.

Blaine’s Tom Druk produced out of the No. 8 spot, going 3-for-4 with three runs and a double. Ryan Sutterer and Ryan Rumpca both had two hits, with the latter driving in a pair.

St. Michael Saints 3, Moorhead Brewers 2 (7:30 pm) @ Hutchinson

To take nothing away from the St. Michael Saints, their defeat of the Moorhead Brewers Friday night in Hutch was a huge upset. The Brewers played second fiddle last year only to Dundas, and they’ve spent almost the entire season as the top-ranked team in Class B with just three losses while playing a full slate.

Tanner Dahl was excellent for the Brewers — going the distance with only one earned run, two walks and 13 strikeouts — but St. Michael’s Scott Leiser was even better. Reported to have pitched only 5 2/3 innings this summer for the Saints, Lieser looked strong throughout while having just enough in the ninth to finish it off. He yielded only five hits and a walk while striking out four.

St. Michael’s Max Ditty provided the game-winning hit with a two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh. The Brewers plated one run in the ninth to make it 3-2 St. Michael with one out and runners at the corners. It ended with a contested ground ball double-play. 

Shakopee Indians 5, Austin Greyhounds 4 (7:30 pm) @ Dassel

The Shakopee Indians were beat Friday night, and they walked away from Dassel with a win nonetheless. Austin led 4-3 in the 9th but the Indians took advantage when a double-play ball was thrown away, allowing the winning run to come home. Yet again, we’ve seen in this tournament that the team with the most errors has lost (Austin had four to Shakopee’s two.) 

Austin’s Nels Nelson and Shakopee’s Sheldon Miks drew the starting nods, but it was the relievers that drew the decisions. Chris Rupert swooped in for two hitless innings to go with three strikeouts. Logan Spitzak wasn’t so lucky for the Greyhounds, recording just one out while giving up two runs.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27

Nisswa Lightning 4, Minnesota Lake Royals 3 @ Dassel (11 am – 10 inns.)

Through eight innings Saturday, the powerhouse Nisswa Lightning boasted a 3-0 lead and looked poised to advance to the third round of the Class C state tourney. But three two-out, two-strike RBI singles from the Royals in the top of the ninth tied the game and pushed the Lightning to extra innings before Nisswa walked-off with Morgan Shepherd’s bases-loaded single to win 4-3 in the bottom of the 10th.

Shepherd went 2-for-2 with two RBI – including the game-winner – and Jason Roepke and Drew Boland tallied the Lightning’s other multi-hit games, going 2-for-4 and 2-for-5, respectively.

Scott Sand pitched the first 8 2/3 innings for Nisswa before giving way to reliever Nate DeChaine, who didn’t allow a ball in play in his 1 1/3 frames to pick up the win. DeChaine struck out four and beaned one to close out the ninth and keep the Royals at bay in the top of the 10th.

Miesville Mudhens 4, Beaudreau’s Saints 0 @ Litchfield (11 am)

Both Beaudreau’s Bar and Miesville smashed 17 hits in their Friday night wins, but only the Mudhens’ bats made an appearance Saturday morning in Litchfield, as Miesville pounded out 11 safeties and relied on stellar pitching from Jacob Dickmeyer to coast to a comfortable 4-0 win.

Miesville opened the scoring with a single run in the bottom half of the first and added three more off Saints’ starter Brad Haag in the third to account for all the game’s scoring, providing Dickmeyer with more than enough support. Dickmeyer went the distance, allowing five singles, walking one and striking out six in the complete-game win.

Miesville’s double-play combo provided the bulk of the offense for the home team: second baseman Brian Sprout smacked two singles and a double to drive in one and shortstop Deryk Marks had a single and a double to go with his run scored and RBI.

Sobieski Skis 6, Ortonville Rox 0 @ Hutchinson (11 am)

Tyler Jendro, the MVP of the 2014 state tournament, was razor-sharp on the hill against Ortonville, allowing only one hit and striking out nine to pick up the easy 6-0 win in a game the Skis led from the top of the first.

Jendro pitched eight sparkling innings and his strong effort was buoyed by the Skis’ 1-through-4 hitters — Beau Hanowski, Josh Wenzel, Collin Eckman and Joey Hanowski — who pounded out six of the team’s eight hits and scored four of their six runs.

The aforementioned Hanowskis earned the Skis’ two multi-hit games, going 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI and 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI, respectively.

Winsted Wildcats 4, Gaylord Islanders 1 @ Dassel (1:30 pm – 10 inns.)

In Saturday’s marquee pitching matchup, neither Winsted’s Tony Kley or Gaylord’s Brody Rodning earned the decision, as the Wildcats outlasted the Islanders 4-1 in a well-pitched game that featured 27 total strikeouts.

Neither offense could muster more than a single run off the two superb starters: Kley scattered four hits, walked one and struck out 11 over his seven innings of work, while Rodning fanned 13 Wildcat batters, walked two and allowed two hits through eight. Both pitchers touched 91 mph with their fastballs as two of the better pitchers in the Class C amateur game.   

Gaylord’s run – Rodning scores Rodning  |  Winsted records F8-3-2 DP to end 8th inning

Winsted’s Garrett Zander with game-saving catch in bottom of the 9th

The teams remained tied through nine and headed to extras locked in a 1-1 draw before Winsted opened the game up with a trio of runs in the top of the 10th on Joe Kley’s game-winning, bases-loaded double off Gaylord reliever Brad Walsh, who took the loss. Patrick Tschida, a draftee from Watertown, pitched a scoreless tenth to earn the win in relief.

Hadley Buttermakers 12, Regal Eagles 1 @ Hutchinson (1:30 pm – 7 inns.)

The Buttermakers’10-run fifth inning turned a close game pear-shaped, as Hadley crushed Regal 12-1 in a game ended after seven due to the mercy rule.

The Eagles scratched out seven hits — just four fewer than the Buttermakers — against Hadley starter Justin Reinsma and reliever Ross Ackermann, a draftee from Adrian, but all seven were singles. Hadley’s offense was powered by third baseman Blake Rogers, who went yard twice against Regal starter Chris Beier on his way to a 2-for-3 game with three runs and five RBI.

Reinsma wasn’t dominant — the starter struck out only one Eagle — but he trusted his defense and the other eight didn’t let him down. Reinsma didn’t walk or hit one batter, and the Buttermakers made zero errors.

Shakopee Indians 6, St. Michael Saints 4 @ Litchfield (1:30 pm)

St. Michael out-hit Shakopee 16 to 7 but couldn’t overcome the Indians’ five-run first inning in the third round of the Class B tournament, as Shakopee held off the Saints for the 6-4 win.

It was the second straight razor-thin margin for the Indians, who came back to beat Austin on an error in the ninth inning Friday night to reach the clash against St. Michael, who had seized an unlikely win over the Moorhead Brewers the night before. Shakopee starter Andy Gibart wasn’t fooling the Saints — he allowed twelve hits and struck out only one batter in six innings — but he didn’t walk a batter, either, and he earned the resilient win.

The Indians also benefited from eight bases-on-balls by Saints’ pitchers Aaron Sperl and Jared Dehmer to clog up the bases and put across six runs with only seven hits.

Plato Bluejays 12, Fergus Falls Hurricanes 1 @ Dassel (5 pm – 7 inns.)

For the second straight week, the defending champs didn’t allow their opponents to see the eighth and ninth innings. Plato smoked Fergus Falls 12-1 in seven innings Saturday in Dassel six days after beating Springfield 11-1 via the mercy rule at the same site.

Plato starter Chris Odegaard starred for the Bluejays on the hill and at the plate: on the mound, he gave up one single and one earned run while striking out nine and walking only two over six innings to pick up the win; and, with a bat in his hands, Odegaard mustered more hits than the Hurricanes did, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI.

Bluejays leadoff hitter Kyle Panning was a nuisance for Fergus Falls all game. The leftfielder reached base in four of his five plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with four runs, one RBI, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Elrosa Saints 1, Blue Earth Pirates 0 @ Hutchinson (5 pm)

Elrosa posted a single run in the bottom of the first and Saints’ ace Ethan Vogt did the rest, as the big righty allowed three hits and three walks on his way to a complete-game shutout and a 1-0 Elrosa win.

Saints leadoff hitter Matt Middendorf scored the game’s lone run and certainly paid the price for his opportunity, getting plunked three times in his four plate appearances. The Elrosa offense was held relatively quiet by Blue Earth’s Aaron Wendt, who allowed only six singles in his eight-inning complete game.

Elrosa catcher Cody Eichers delivered the definitive blow in the first with an RBI single that scored Middendorf and proved enough to hold off the Pirates.

Waconia Lakers 2, Cold Spring Rockies 1 @ Hutchinson (7:30 pm)

Cold Spring scratched across a second-inning run but couldn’t make it last, as fielding miscues in the seventh and eighth innings allowed Waconia to score two unearned runs and claim the 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

Waconia starter Kodey Simon pounded the strike zone against the Rockies, walking zero and striking out nine, but Cold Spring still tallied eight singles — including three by second baseman Jordan Neu and two apiece by Jake Hennen and Dylan TeBrake.

The bats weren’t the problem for the Rockies, it was their gloves: Waconia scored the game-winning run on a three-error play that featured two overthrows and the ball ending in the dugout in the eighth inning. The Lakers managed six hits in the win, and their offense was paced by second baseman Ben Smothers, who went 2-for-4, and left fielder Peter Brown, who picked up the Lakers’ only RBI with his seventh-inning hit.

Milroy Irish 11, New York Mills Millers 9 @ Dassel (7:30 pm – 11 inns.)

Saturday saved its craziest game for last: fog enveloped Saints Park as Milroy and New York Millers duked it out under the lights in Dassel’s third extra-innings game of the day. In New York Mills’ first state tournament appearance since 1975 and Milroy’s first-ever state tournament (second game), the Irish outscored the Millers 7-5 in the 11th inning to win a wild and controversial game, 11-9.

In the latter stages the outfield wasn’t visible from home plate — and vice versa — as the Irish and the Millers were deadlocked at four through nine innings. After a quiet 10th, Milroy exploded for seven runs in the top half of the inning – six of which came after New York Mills had recorded the first two outs. The Millers responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the 11th, and had the bases loaded and a full count when a strikeout finally ended the madness in the gloamin’.  

Anthony and Dominic Dolan keyed the Irish attack: Anthony went 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI while Dominic smacked three hits in five at-bats, scoring twice and driving in two. New York Mills had six batters — Brandon Kupfer, Ben Woodman, Tyler Patron, Dustin Gaudette, Derik Gaudette and Michael Baune — record two hits in the losing effort. 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28

Bemidji Blue Ox 11, St. Martin Martins 5 @ Dassel (11 am)

No matter who the St. Martin Martins trotted out to the mound Sunday, Bemidji hit them. The Blue Ox scored four runs and smacked eight hits — including three doubles — in five innings off Martins’ starter Ben Schroeder before piling on with seven runs and four hits against St. Martin relievers in the final three frames to win at Dassel, 11-5.

Bemidji starter Brenden Gillies fanned 15 Martins, but when he wasn’t striking out batters, they did damage. Gillies gave away seven free bases — four walks and three hit batsmen — and the Martins pounded out eight hits, but it wasn’t enough to counteract the powerful Blue Ox offense, which tallied 13 hits in the triumph.

The meat of the Blue Ox lineup did most of the damage against the Martins, as the 2-3-4 batters Nick Hovila, Cody Rutledge and Zach Braun combined to go 6-for-14 with two home runs, four runs and five RBI to send Bemidji to Labor Day Weekend. Bemidji’s leadoff hitter smashed the Blue Ox’ other home run as part of a two-RBI day.  

Prior Lake Mudcats 2, Loretto Larks 1 @ Hutchinson (11 am)

Sunday’s first game at Hutchinson, between Prior Lake and Loretto, felt like a nine-inning encapsulation of this year’s tournament: it was close, came down to the wire and the team with the most hits didn’t prevail, as the Mudcats parried a Larks rally in the top of the ninth to hold on for the 2-1 win despite being out-hit, nine to seven.

Prior Lake opened the scoring with a second-inning home run from Jake Lehrer and the two starting pitchers — the Larks’ Colton Petron and the Mudcats’ Ben Morrison — settled in and kept the bats at bay until the bottom of the eighth, when Prior Lake scratched across what was, at the time, a vital insurance run. New Market draftee Derek Bergstrom entered to close the door for Prior Lake and withstood a late Larks rally that made it 2-1 to earn the save.

The Mudcats deployed a balanced hitting attack to advance to the final weekend: six hitters — Jonny Houston, Cole Bjorge, Kyle Schmidt, Jake Lehrer, Tony Loehr and Morrison — accounted for Prior Lake’s seven hits, and Schmidt and Lehrer delivered the team’s RBI singles.

Watkins Clippers 6, Foley Lumberjacks 1 @ Dassel (1:30 pm)

Watkins ace Matt Geislinger turned in an almost comically-dominant performance Sunday, striking out 19 of the 35 batters he faced to earn the complete-game victory, as the Clippers beat Foley 6-1 to reach the round of 16.

It was a rough day to be a Lumberjack: Geislinger struck out every single Foley batter — including three pinch-hitters — and fanned six Lumberjacks multiple times; fifty-four percent of Foley plate appearances ended in a strikeout. Foley managed a run in the top of the sixth to cut the Clippers’ lead to 3-1, but it was as close as the Lumberjacks would get.

Clippers third baseman Brenden Ashton clubbed the ball all afternoon, going 3-for-5 with the game’s lone home run and a pair of RBI. Watkins catcher Lincoln Haugen pitched in with a 2-for-4, one-run, one-RBI performance.

Lastrup Lakers 8, Hampton Cardinals 5 @ Hutchinson (1:30 pm – 13 inns.)

It took 13 innings, but Lastrup finally reclaimed the lead it had lost in the bottom of the ninth to outlast Hampton, 8-5, in a 35-hit slugfest. 

Lastrup’s Chad Weiss doubles for 3-2 lead in 4th

A four-run fourth inning gave the Lakers what looked like a comfortable 5-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh, when the Cardinals inched closer with one run to trim the deficit to two against Lastrup starter Chad Weiss. That two-run advantage held until the bottom of the ninth, when Hampton five-hitter Brandon Morgan singled in a run off Weiss to tie the game at five.

The teams remained deadlocked until one out in the top of the 13th, when Lastrup’s Paul Herman drove in Scott Johnson to break the tie and score what would ultimately be the winning run. A sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Rick Schlieman and an RBI double from Brad Meyer gave the Lakers the final margin of victory.

Lastrup records last out of the game

Meyer keyed the Lastrup offense — and got a VIP tour of Hutch’s Veterans Memorial Field — with a 3-for-6, three-RBI, two-double day at the plate while pitching, catching and playing shortstop. Hampton’s 2-3-4 hitters combined for 10 knocks: cleanup hitter Patrick Strey went 4-for-7 with two RBI, while Alec Knop and Josh Chatfield both went 3-for-6.

Maple Lake Lakers 8, Waseca Braves 1 @ Dassel (5 pm)

Maple Lake never trailed and scored in five different innings as the Lakers cruised to a comfortable 8-1 win over Waseca in the Class C tourney.

The Lakers pounded out 13 hits and Maple Lake starter Jeremy Schmidt allowed only two across seven innings of work. Schmidt struck out eight Braves batters and walked just one. His only hiccup came in the sixth when Waseca scratched across one run, but the Lakers answered with a run of their own in the top of the seventh. Schmidt kept the Braves’ bats quiet in the bottom half to preserve the 8-1 lead.

Dassel-Cokato draftee Eric Hanson relieved Schmidt in the eighth and pitched two perfect frames — including three strikeouts — to close out the game.

Five Lakers batters — Graham Brown, Chad Raiche, Dusty Decker, Todd Fuller and Luke Fobbe — boasted multi-hit games, and Raiche did the most Maple Lake damage with a homer, two singles and three RBI.

Sartell Muskies 13, Brownton Bruins 6 @ Hutchinson (5 pm)

Each time one team scored in Saturday evening’s game between Sartell and Brownton, the other team seemed to have an answer — until the bottom of the eighth, when the Muskies hung a seven spot on the Bruins to win a wild 13-6 game to send Sartell to the tourney’s final weekend.

Brownton’s back-to-back suicide squeeze attempts

Brownton carried a 4-0 lead through four-and-a-half innings until Sartell charged back with a four-run fifth off Bruins starter Dylan McCormick to tie the game at four. The Bruins bounced back with two runs in the top of the seventh off Sartell reliever Adam Wenker, but the Muskies replied yet again with two of their own in the bottom half to again tie the score.

The Muskies busted the game open in the bottom of the eighth and gave the Bruins no chance of a final riposte in the ninth: Tim Burns gave Sartell the one-run edge with a sacrifice fly and Jace Otto quickly extended that lead to three with a two-run single off draftee Mike Mueller of Hamburg. Two more RBI singles, an RBI groundout and a wild pitch gave the Muskies a commanding 13-6 lead that Wenker held comfortably in the bottom half to secure the win.

Muskies leadoff hitter and second baseman Andrew Deters led the Sartell attack, reaching base four times and going 2-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Raymond Rockets 5, Lamberton Long Sox 2 @ Dassel (7:30 pm)

Raymond starter Alex Lothammer scattered six hits and two unearned runs across nine innings for the complete-game victory, defeating Lamberton 5-2 in the final game at Saints Field on Weekend No. 2.

Raymond only trailed after the bottom of the fourth when the Long Sox scored two to take a 2-1 lead. But Lamberton’s lead didn’t last long, as the Rockets responded with two runs of their own off Long Sox starter Johnny Pistulka in the top of the fifth to regain the lead at 3-2. Raymond added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth and the three-run advantage was more than enough for Lothammer, who threw up zeroes in eight of his nine innings. 

The Rockets’ first five batters accounted for eight of the team’s nine hits, and three-hole hitter Tyler Steen shone brightest, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs. Cleanup hitter Kyle Knott hit a bomb of his own, going 1-for-4 with two RBI. Designated hitter Jordan Smith joined Steen as the two Rockets with multi-hit performances.

Hutchinson Huskies 8, Fort Ripley Rebels 2 @ Hutchinson (7:30 pm)

The Huskies broke a 2-2 tie with a four-run third inning against Fort Ripley to boost Hutchinson to an 8-2 win in front of its home crowd Sunday night at Veterans Memorial Field.

Hutch starter Matt Timm struggled throwing strikes — he punched out 11 with six walks in seven innings — but limited the Rebels to only two runs and four hits. Reliever Kyle Messner and Maple Plain draftee Billy Soule each tossed blank slates in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to close out the win and send the Huskies to another game at their home field next weekend.

The Huskies’ three- and four-hitters powered the Hutchinson offense: right-fielder Jake Wendland slugged the game’s lone long ball and went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two HBP, while cleanup hitter Justin Juergensen drove in two runs and scored one behind a 1-for-4 performance. Left-fielder Keegan Macemon added two singles in four at-bats.

CLASS B BRACKET  |  CLASS C BRACKET

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